MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JUNE 24:  An Apple-1 computer, built in 1976, is displayed during the First Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth Century, an online auction featuring vintage tech products at the Computer History Museum on June 24, 2013 in Mountain View, California.  Christie's is auctioning off an original Apple-1 computer owned by Ted Perry as part of its First Bytes: Iconic Technology from the Twentieth Century, an online auction of vintage tech products. The online auction begins today and runs through July 9. The Apple-1 is expected to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


A Silicon Valley e-waste recycling firm is trying to find a woman who dropped off her unwanted computer without knowing the bulky machine was worth thousands of dollars.

CleanBayArea sold the woman’s rare Apple 1 computer at auction for $200,000. The company’s policy is to split half the proceeds with the original owner, so if they can find the woman she’s in for quite the payday.

“I ask this lady, please come over to our warehouse…and we’ll give you check for $100,000,” CleanBayArea Vice President Victor Gichun.

The woman, who said her husband recently died and she wanted to clean up their garage, did not request a tax receipt and did not want to leave her name, according to Gichun.

A few weeks later, when employees were rummaging through the boxes, they were shocked to find an Apple 1 Computer, said Gichun. He says that only 200 Apple 1 computers were ever made.

“We really couldn’t believe our eyes,” Gichun said. “We thought it was fake.”